iW Magazine
SIHH2017

Richard Mille Sets Gems into Carbon, Debuts a Case with Graphene

RM 07-01 AND RM 037

This maker of watches that boast myriad high-tech materials inside and outside (including the SIHH 2017 debut RM 50-03, a super-light split-seconds chronograph made with graphene) adds a new notch to its belt: gem-set NTPT carbon. Recall that Mille has since 2013 employed NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon as one type of signature material. Forged to create men’s models previously, the material is composed of multiple layers of super thin and parallel filaments from split carbon fibers that are then woven and heated together.

Richard Mille RM 037

Just prior to the 2017 SIHH Richard Mille unveiled two watches for women with existing designs but now cased with NTPT carbon that the company has for the first time also set with diamonds. While gold can be worked directly with tools to create the prongs that will hold diamonds, the hardness and resistance of NTPT carbon means that Richard Mille needed to devise special CNC machines for milling (equipped with diamond tools) in order to make the small holes that then are set with hand-polished red gold or white gold prongs. In the case of the RM 037, fully 250 diamonds will be inserted by hand into these prongs.

The two watches feature tonneau-shaped cases, with the smaller RM 07-01 utilizing Richard Mille Caliber CRMA2, a skeletonized automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve. The slightly larger RM 037 is powered by automatic Caliber CRMA1 that adds an oversize date and a function selector to the two-hand time display.

Richard Mille RM 07-01

In an upcoming post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the aforementioned Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1, which at 40 grams is the lightest split-seconds chronograph on the market.

Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1